IKC DOG SHOW 2014 and Chicago Cavalier Specialty

   What an awesome show!!  Unfortunately, I was needed at the annual Dental Laboratory Convention that is scheduled the same weekend as IKC!!  You would think they could not do it on a dog show weekend!! hhhmmm.. they just do not understand.   Woody, however was able to break loose on Sunday and show Faith.  They both had an amazing time.  We were both very sorry to have missed the Cavalier  Specialty on Saturday and heard it was a great success.  Many of our friends and puppy owners attended and had a wonderful time.  

   I am thrilled to annouce that my dear friend Piera Brown had a spectacular weekend out with her young Ruby Girl WestGate Canadian Caper who won Best Cavalier 4-6 month puppy and then was awarded the Toy Group under AKC Judge Meg Hennessey.  Sabrina is the niece of our China and has a very promising career with this being her very first time in the ring. 

   At the Speciaty under AKC Judge Huston Clark, Piera won Amateur Owner Handler Best of Breed with WestGate Coconut Breeze.  Derrick is a promising young man that is just starting his show career.  

   Looking forward to next year at IKC and hoping the Dental Lab Convention will move their dates!!   Hint.. hint!     


Cavaliers Chiari-Like Malformation & Syringomyelia

    When talking with potential puppy buyers here in the United States and discussing health issues it does not take long before the question of MRI scanning to arise.  Most have either know about the condition from Pedigree Dogs exposed on TV or an affected Cavalier.   They are searching for breeders that are MRI scanning of which are few in the US.     

     Breeders in the UK have been afforded low cost MRI scanning for a number of years now and have been breeding to set protocols.  They have several generations of Cavaliers that are MRI clear and continue from those foundations.       

    Unfortunately, breeders in the US have not had the same finical luxury.  MRI scans run anywhere from $800-$2,000.  Breed clubs are hesitant to fundraise to offset group rates and researchers are not being funded for 'high dollar projects' that affect just a few breeds.  

    Add to that the debate, controversy, mis-information and tension between researches and breeders world wide.   CM/SM  has become a hot topic and our beloved Cavalier is suffering in my opinion. 

     Since I started MRI scanning about 10 years ago, much has changed.   Research continues to evolve and advance.  The breeding protocols have changed in recent years to reflect this.  

     A few things I know that do make sense and have effectively reduced Syringomyelia in our breed are:

*   MRI scanning is the only way to properly diagnose SM and determine if a dog can be bred.  

*   Cavaliers WITH CM/SM can remain symptom free their entire lives.  Just because they have SM does not mean they will become symptomatic.  

*   Most Cavaliers do not show symptoms until later in life, well after they have produced puppies.  

*   Only a very small percentage of breeders are scanning. 

*   Breeding two dogs that have clear MRI scans significantly reduces that chances of SM.  In contrast breeding two dogs with CM/SM increases the risk of an affected to approximately 90%(Rusbridge2010)


     The biggest problem in my opinion has been the grading system that the UK BVA has now established.   What grade to put on an MRI where CM/SM has multiple factors?  Here in the US we have been fortunate enough to have Canine Neurologists that list all the neurological issues and to what degree or absent on a specific scan.  We are not given grade.  This eliminates the 'interpretation' of grade A by one expert and the same dog a D by another.  

     It also eliminates the arguments that if a Dog has a Grade A it can still get SM later in life.  Thankfully the research by Dr. Sofia Certa Gonzales at Cornell University determined that if a Cavalier is clear and has no CM it should not get SM later in life.  

     I have been very blessed to be working with a group of like minded breeders.  We have been diligently working to help lower the cost of MRI scanning with group rate clinics and to get a registering body for the results.   Our goal is to bring more public awareness to CM/SM that will ultimately entice other breeders to start testing in order to breed healthier dogs.  



Cavalier Beds - Repurposed antique chairs

  Here are a couple of the beds that Linda did this Christmas.  They were made from a set of chairs that had seen better days.  Yes, I am a huge into refinishing antique furniture as anyone that has been to our home will attest.  However, these poor little guys had seen the end of the line.  

  Woody made the bed frames and Linda flipped them around did some hand painting and detailing.  New Cavalier beds!!  

  I hope this will inspire you all to do something fun and repurpose a tired chair.   Ohhhh Estate sales here I come this spring :)  Can't wait to see what else I can get my hands on.  


Happy New Year 2014 to all our friends & Family

  Many exciting things to look forward to this 2014.  First is the Grayslake show where Marilyn will be taking Connie in the ring for the first time.  This is in prep for the IKC International Dog Show in Chicago in Feb.  I will be at the Chicago Dental conference (Boooo) so I expect everyone to cheer on our babies! :)    Faith has volunteered to do the meet the breed again!  Silly girl.. she loved all the attention. 

  Then we have the CKCSC MidWest show in April here in Chicago and two weeks later off to North Carolina to the 20th anniversary AKC National Specialty.  I can't believe it has been 20 years.  It seems like yesterday the 'dirty dozen' broke from CKCSC and created ACKSC and Cavaliers went AKC! Time flies!!

   Meg has been 'on the ball' as always and registered a couple of our babies for Futurity.  It will be fun to find out if we are 'in the money'  with our evaluations!   Ten and Hunter had a wonderful start off and now just waiting to mature and grow hair.  

   Faith and Woody have been in the ribbons of late so we are looking forward to her finishing her championship this year.  

  Kit Cat with her black spot and I are going to obedience classes this winter.  Not sure if it is for me or her, but we are looking forward to agility and rally.   I would love to enter her in the CKCSC Rally and get one of those huge ribbons!  Hmmmm….

  We wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year and come join us in the front row!! 


©  Linda Baird & Woody Goode 2015